Ann Smajstrla

    Ann Smajstrla

    Contributing Writer
  • Google Meet gets Q&A and poll features for paid customers

    Starting October 8th, the video chat service is adding Q&A and polls features for paid enterprise customers, according to a post on the G Suite Updates blog. Q&A allows those hosting or moderating a chat to allow participants to submit questions.

  • Nintendo agrees to $2 million settlement in Switch hacking lawsuit

    Nintendo has agreed to a $2 million settlement in its intellectual property lawsuit against a site called UberChips, according to court documents obtained by Torrent Freak. After Nintendo filed the lawsuit in May, UberChips went offline -- but Nintendo still pursued the lawsuit.

  • Google Maps' 'Live View' AR feature gets landmarks and improved accuracy

    Now, Live View also shows you nearby landmarks. Last month, a Live View location sharing feature became available for Google Pixel users.

  • Peter Parker has been recast in ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered’

    Developer Insomniac Games says the forthcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered for the PS5 will be different from the 2018 original in multiple ways. While we could have predicted changes like a higher frame rate and the addition of new spider suits, one change seems out of left field: Peter Parker’s face. Peter Parker has been recast, and his face has been redesigned to reflect the new actor.

  • Sling's 'Watch Party' group streaming feature works with live TV

    Sling TV just launched a “Sling Watch Party” feature in beta, meaning you can now connect with friends and family via video or text chat while you watch live TV together. Sling Watch Party allows customers to invite up to three guests to share a TV viewing experience.

  • Report highlights blindspots in Facebook's fight against voting misinformation

    A tool that Facebook says can help state officials monitor voting misinformation doesn’t give users a complete picture of Facebook activity, according to a report from the Tech Transparency Project (TTP).

  • Huami Amazfit Band 5 is a multi-feature fitness watch for only $45

    Huami has announced the newest addition to its lineup of Amazfit smartwatch fitness trackers, which are generally less expensive than popular counterparts from Garmin and Fitbit. The Amazfit Band 5 has typical fitness tracker features, such as a pedometer and heart-rate monitor, plus more advanced offerings like a blood oxygen saturation monitor and Amazon Alexa functions, all for $45. The watch’s BioTracker 2 heart rate monitor audits your resting heart rate and heart rate zones, and will alert you when your heart rate gets too high, according to a statement from Huami.

  • The Wayback Machine and Cloudflare team up to keep websites online

    The Wayback Machine, a project of Internet Archive, allows you to view web pages as they appeared on certain past dates.

  • Spotify belatedly adds notifications for new podcast episodes

    Spotify has rolled out mobile push notifications for new podcast episodes starting today, the streaming app announced in a statement. It’s a relatively small development, but one that indicates Spotify is continuing to strengthen its podcast offerings — although it's also playing catch-up to apps that have long had this feature. To take advantage of the feature, go to a podcast’s show page on Spotify and click “follow.”

  • Alexa users can share their Routines with others

    Have you crafted a useful Alexa Routine that helps you get out of bed, remember to finish certain tasks or have a more effective workout? Amazon has made both sharing and discovering Routines easier with shareable URL links for customers in the US, the company announced today. You can share a Routine you’ve created by accessing the Alexa app, selecting the Routine you want to share, then choosing whether you want the routine sent via text, email or social media.

  • ‘The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners’ is coming to the Oculus Quest

    VR game The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is officially coming to Oculus Quest October 13th, Skydance Interactive developers announced Wednesday during Facebook Connect. The game was one of several announced today alongside the brand-new Oculus Quest 2 hardware. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners takes place in a walker-infested New Orleans, where you must fight your way through the streets and negotiate with warring factions.

  • AirTV Anywhere allows you to watch and record local channels remotely

    If you’re already a Sling TV customer, local programming will be accessible alongside your Sling TV channels in the Sling TV app -- no need for a separate app.

  • Alexa can print your recipes, sudoku games or your grocery list

    Find out more at the printing with Alexa page here.

  • Razer made the gum gamers didn’t know they needed

    As a follow up to its focus-sharpening Razer Respawn drink, and to meet an apparent need for fortified gum, the company has rolled out Respawn By 5 gaming gum.

  • Researchers capture the world's first 3,200-megapixel digital photo

    Stanford researchers have taken 3,200-megapixel photos, the largest-ever, using sensors that will be part of the world’s largest digital camera, according to a SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory blog post. The camera will be installed in the university’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) telescope in Chile, which will study dark energy, dark matter and create the “largest astronomical movie of all time.” You can also see small, dim objects other cameras can’t capture -- the resolution is so high that you could see a golf ball from 15 miles away, and the sensors can spot objects 100 million times dimmer than visible with the naked eye.